Sunday, April 20th, 2014

The Skinny Way to Celebrate Fat Tuesday

Published on February 11, 2013 by   ·   No Comments Pin It
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On Fat Tuesday, it’s practically required that we stuff ourselves with gumbo, jambalaya, Hoppin’ John, king cake, and other calorie bombs. But who wants to wake up Wednesday with that bloated, fatty-food hangover? So gather your krewe for vegan versions of Mardi Gras favorites, and you’ll be having beads thrown at you like it’s 10 a.m. on Bourbon Street.

Heading to New Orleans for Fat Tuesday? Here is a list of vegan-friendly joints in the big easy.

Here are a couple of our favorite recipes if you aren’t planning to flash anyone in the great outdoors this week;

Image via Under The Influence Of Food Blog

Sassy Vegetable Gumbo
1 dried chipotle chili, soaked in very hot water to cover for 30 minutes
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups vegetable stock or water
1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen sliced okra
1 1/2 tsp. filé powder
1 tsp. dried thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp. barley miso paste (optional)
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 tsp. Tabasco sauce, or to taste
2 to 3 cups cooked long-grain white rice

  • Drain the chipotle, mince, and set aside.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic. Cover and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, tomatoes with their juice, okra, file powder, thyme, salt, and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Place the miso, if using, in a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoonfuls of the hot broth and stir to thin the miso, then add it to the gumbo along with the corn, Tabasco sauce, and minced chipotle. Taste and adjust the seasonings, then cook for 10 minutes.
  • To serve, spoon about 1/2 cup of the cooked rice into each soup bowl and top with the gumbo. Serve hot.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Vegan King Cake


For the Cake:
1/2 cup soy milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2 pkgs. dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water
Egg replacer equivalent to 3 eggs
1 tsp. grated lemon rind
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 1/2–5 cups self-rising flour, sifted
1 lb. vegan cream cheese (try Tofutti brand)
1 tsp. soy milk
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1-inch baby doll, bean, or nut (optional)

  • In a saucepan over high heat, combine the soy milk, sugar, salt, and shortening. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Cool to lukewarm.
  • In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
  • Add the soy milk mixture, egg replacer, lemon rind, nutmeg, cinnamon, and 2 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Add the remaining flour 1 cup at a time until the dough can be shaped into a ball with your hands.
  • Place in a greased bowl, turn over to coat, and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm place free from drafts for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  • In a medium bowl, mix the vegan cream cheese, soy milk, and confectioners’ sugar until smooth.
  • Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface. Pat out to form a large rectangle. Spread the “cream cheese” mixture lengthwise over the bottom half. Flip the top half over the filling and pinch the edges to seal. Roll with your hands into a cylinder and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Form into a ring and pinch the ends to seal. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  • Bake in a 350°F oven for 20 minutes, until golden brown. Cool. Carefully insert the baby doll into the bottom of the cake.

For the Lemon Glaze:
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. water
Food coloring (optional)

  • Combine the sugar, lemon juice, and water. Pour over the cake.

Note: For a traditional king cake, make purple, green, and yellow frosting and frost the cake in stripes.

Makes 8 to 10 servings

PETA offers a wealth of vegan recipes for all the Mardi Gras staples, like Jumpin’ Jambalaya and Not-So-Dirty Rice.  

And to wash it all down?

Beer, of course! It is Mardi Gras, no? And beer is surprisingly healthier than a lot of other drinks, including milk.

According to Harvard Medical School, drinking a moderate amount of alcohol can protect the heart and circulatory system and may prevent gallstones and type 2 diabetes. Milk, on the other hand, has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, strokes, cancer, and even osteoporosis. And Archives of Internal Medicine published a study that found that women who drink one or two glasses of beer or wine per day are significantly less likely to gain weight or suffer from obesity.
So, laissez les bons temps rouler!

Michelle Kretzer learned about factory farming while pursuing a degree in Journalism at the University of Kentucky. She immediately stopped eating meat and dedicated herself to the cause of animal rights. When she is not writing for the PETA Foundation, Michelle enjoys traveling, collecting Beatles memorabilia, and finding great cruelty-free shoes and bags.

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